Thursday, June 12, 2014

Between The Lines (BTL #1) by Tammara Webber


Reid Alexander is used to getting what he wants - and what he wants next is his newest costar, Emma Pierce. The universe is lining up nicely to grant his wish, until he's confronted with two unexpected obstacles on location: a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for Emma's affections.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after years of filming commercials and made-for-TV movies. Winning the lead role in a wide-release film - opposite the very hot Reid Alexander - should be a dream come true. But Emma's heart is hiding a secret fantasy: she wants to be a normal girl.


Between the Lines is the book that I thank for introducing me to the world of independent authors.  Shortly after I bought my kindle, I stumbled across it on a blog I was following. Having my own background in theatre/film, the setting sounded interesting & I was looking for something new to read so I decided to give it a chance.  I was immediately drawn into the fun, crazy, behind-the-scenes world of a teen drama in the making.

Recently, I have been listening to the audio version of some of my favorite books as a chance to revisit "old friends" and actually write reviews for them.  This series is one that I think I could re-read on a regular basis & love it just as much each time.  The summary above barely scratches the surface of what kind of story to expect from Between The Lines. Set in Austin, TX during the filming of School Pride, a teen drama retelling of Pride & Prejudice, we get to spend time with the majority of the cast as they get to know each other on & off the set.  We mainly follow the four major characters, Emma, Reid, Brooke & Graham, and see the story through Emma & Reid's eyes.

Emma is a sweet, naive girl who has no idea what she is getting herself into when she accepts the role of Lizbeth Bennet.  She has been acting in small roles since she was a kid, but has never been in anything as big as School Pride and has never worked with someone as famous as Reid Alexander.  Pushed by the encouragement of her best friend Emily (who adores Reid), Emma accepts the role even though part of her hates the idea of what this film will do to her favorite novel.  Overwhelmed by the idea of sudden fame along with the attention of two very different boys, she can't help but question whether the path she has chosen is really what she wants.

Reid is Hollywood's it-boy.  As charming as he is handsome, he has had everything handed to him for as long as he can remember & he likes it that way. Used to girls throwing themselves at his feet to be used & discarded as he pleases, he doesn't quite know how to handle his growing feelings for Emma or the competition he feels for her attention as she gets closer to Graham.  Add in Brooke, the only other girl he has ever truly had feelings for & his life is about to get complicated in ways he has never known.

I don't know how to adequately describe how much I love this series.  I love & hate all four of the main characters in various ways. They all have room to grow & learn from their mistakes, none more than Reid Alexander.  He's such an arrogant ass!  But even though he is all kinds of wrong for Emma, there is something about him that makes me root for him.  I'm never really one to fall for the "bad boy" and this one certainly doesn't have a heart of gold...but we see glimpses of something better that give us hope.

I love the way that Tammara Webber brings her stories to life. Her characters are real.  Her best ones have flaws & her worst ones still have redeeming value. Maybe it is because I have read the entire series & know where everyone ends up, but I can't help being pulled back in by these books & enjoying the ride time & again...even when I want to shake everyone in them & tell them to open their eyes to the mistakes they keep repeating.

I wholeheartedly recommend giving this book a chance if you enjoy teen dramas. It's a fast read that actually managed to surprise me a couple of times, and it's a fun - and from my experience fairly accurate - look at the world of film.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

From Amazon

Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.

Four years ago, Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. They’re struggling to make ends meet at first, but Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes and deep dimples, and perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable, and Trent is desperate to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means revealing an explosive secret that could shatter both their worlds.


When Ten Tiny Breaths was first published, my facebook feed was flooded with praise for the book & the author.  Curious, I picked it up.  I remember reading it then, but for some reason, it didn't really stick with me at the time.  I enjoyed it, and immediately put the sequel on my watch list to read, but by the time One Tiny Lie came out, I had moved on.  Now, in anticipation of actually meeting K.A. Tucker at Book Bash in a couple of weeks, I decided to re-read Ten Tiny Breaths & finally read One Tiny Lie, and I am glad I did!

Kacey Cleary is a mess.  Her life was destroyed four years earlier when the car she was riding in was hit by a drunk driver.  Both of her parents along with her best friend & boyfriend were killed that day.  Haunted by the feeling of her boyfriend's life slipping out of his body while she held his hand along with listening to her mother's final breaths, Kacey is left emotionally scarred and physically unable to touch anyone.  She has tried every coping method she can imagine & most often leaned on actions meant to make her forget.  The one thing that has kept her from completely giving up is her sister Livie.  When Kacey catches their uncle/guardian trying to sneak into Livie's room one night, she knows that things have to change.

Leaving everything behind, Kacey & Livie board a bus to Miami to start a new life.  Where this is essentially Kacey's story, the whole cast of characters we meet are fun & compelling.  At moments, I struggled with connecting with Kacey, but then again, so did everyone else that met her.  When we meet Trent, it is obvious why she is drawn to him...what is less obvious is why she trusts him. I often struggle with the idea of "insta-love" and where this isn't exactly that, it is close enough for me to question.  If it had been solely a love story between Kacey & Trent, I probably would have set it aside & forgotten it again.  However, the side relationships between Kacey & Livie as well as the friendship that developed between them & their neighbor Storm really pulled me in.  The message of finding hope & forgiveness after tragedy is heartwarming & a good reminder that we don't have to do everything alone.

Where I wasn't completely drawn in by this book & there were several things that bothered me with the story, it is a good start to a series & there are some great supporting characters that I look forward to getting to know better.  Having waited as long as I did to pick this series back up, there are now three more books to read! Now, I'll be heading off to college with Livie!